If you’ve ever had a duplicate key, you know how annoying it can be. Every time you need to go back to erase the repeated “i” or “s”, you waste a little time. It can even interfere with the flow of your thoughts, killing your productivity throughout the day.
The good news is that duplicate keys are usually easy to fix, especially if it’s related to a hardware issue. Here are some troubleshooting steps to take to fix these annoying duplicate letters.
As with any computer problem, it’s important to follow the simplest troubleshooting steps first. If you have another keyboard, plug it in and start typing.
This will help you narrow down the issues related to your existing keyboard.
Cleaning and Repair Keys
The next rather simple step is to clean the keyboard. You should already be cleaning your computer thoroughly on a regular basis, but your keyboard is especially prone to dirt.
Turn off your computer and turn the keyboard over to shake out any debris. Wipe down the keys and use compressed air to remove any dirt that may accumulate. You can then flip the keyboard over again to remove any remaining compressed air.
If that doesn’t work, you may have to remove the duplicate keys and clean underneath with a cotton swab.
Run OS Updates
If you haven’t updated your system recently, updating your operating system quickly never hurts. On a Windows 10 PC, select Start> Settings> Update & Security> Windows Update.
On macOS, click the Apple icon in the upper left corner and choose App Store> Updates. You can also use a program like Windows Driver Booster to check for outdated keyboard drivers and update them.
Check your system configuration
After you’ve physically examined the keyboard and fixed the cause, it’s time to check your system configuration. To do this, you need to boot your computer in Safe Mode.
When you are in Safe Mode, only important programs run, so you can try typing in Safe Mode and see if the problem persists. If so, the problem is most likely in the software.
Turn off key duplication
Mac laptops have a setting called Key Repeat that lets you press and hold a key to enter the same letter over and over until you release it. If you encounter duplicate keys on more than one key, this may be the cause.
Enter Keyboard in the Spotlight search bar to open Keyboard preferences. On the Keyboard tab, set Key Repeat to Off.
Reset to default
In Windows 10, you can reset your keyboard to factory settings. Go to Windows Settings> Time & Language> Region & Language. There you will add a new language, make this new language the main one, and then bring English back to the top. This will reset the keyboard.
On Mac, you can reset keyboard preferences by resetting Mac SMC. The easiest way to do this is to remove the battery, press and hold the power button for five seconds, and reinstall the battery. Choose Apple> Shut Down.
With the computer turned off, press the Shift, Control, and Option keys while pressing the power button. Hold for ten seconds, then release all keys. When you press the power button again, your computer will boot.